Too many pullets/chickens!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FatChicksDigMe, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2015
    Hi guys, I really really need your advice!

    First off, I want to say I honestly appreciate the beauty and value of a chicken, both as a livestock and mostly as amazing pets. I am currently in a bit of a dilemma right now, and it is seriously my fault. I truly am blessed to have such patient and kind neighbors too...

    Background: So, I live in the city and wanted to raise some hens. Originally I planned on buying 8 baby chicks (to become hens) to be tranfered when we finished building a house on a parcel of land that we own (it's about an acre and a half). Long story short, I was persuaded by my silver-tongued father to get a total of 50 something chickens of various ages (we got them all as chicks but in different times). I now have approximately 14 laying hens (or at the point of lay) 2 mature roosters, about 16 cockerels and 22 pullets. Knowing my dad, it's not likely that we will build anytime soon...

    I know...what the H E double hockey sticks was I thinking!!! My father wanted to keep three roosters of each breed of hen we have and will cull the rest, though we only have a black silkie roo, a couple of barred rocks, and lots of RIR roos. My father wants to keep all the hens and pullets, BUT he is very cruel. Our chickens get scraps when they can and feast primarily on scratch. I've occasionally convinced him to by layers feed, but he doesn't realize that growing chickens need lots of protein and hens are essentially expectant mothers each time they lay an egg. They need all the help they can get!

    I am a college student living with a very traditional family, but am passionate about homesteading, natural medicine, and raising birds (particularly chickens)... I cannot let my father keep starving our chickens (I give them crushed eggshells and boiled scrambled eggs for calcium and protein, apple cider vinegar, and fig leaves for greens) but I can't protect them much longer. They are too many to count and its totally illegal keeping this many in our backyard lol:(

    So, I want to sell half of them at least... My question is, how much are Easter egger, Dominique, and Delaware pullets "worth" selling? My hens are so tame and deserve more space, while these pullets have become so wild (bc I didn't handle them when chicks much).

    The roosters we will cull:(, but that's life. I'd rather it be us do it humanely (and no, its nearly impossible/not plausible to rehome them).

    If anyone read this long *** comment, please advise me!!!
    Thank you and God bless. P.s. I fear God, that is why I cannot handle this cruelty anymore (though I treat them really kindly personally).
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I think most young laying hens or pol pullets are sold for around 10-25 dollars, though it depends on where you live and what people are locally selling them for, I would look on craigslist for your area to see what people are asking.
  3. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2015

    That's what I figured...Thank you for your help;)
  4. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    How big is your current yard, and are they in a run, or are they loose on it? Even if you halve the number of chickens, they will need a bit of feed, and if they are in a run, they will need a complete diet for sure. Why is he opposed to buying them real feed? I thought scratch is more expensive.
    The price varies greatly depending on where you live. Some people will pay no more than five dollars a pullet, while other places, people are willing to pay over twenty dollars for a pullet. You will have to look around at how they are selling where you live.
    Something to think could sell them in pairs, trios, or groups with a cockerel, that way some can live.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think you have already got the best answer to your question, Craigslist. Another possibility is to find your state or countries thread in the “Where am I? Where are you!” section and chat with your neighbors. I have no idea what part of the world you are in but hopefully your area has an active thread.

    I support your decision to eat those excess cockerels. If you let them go you lose control of them and they are probably going to die anyway. At least you can do it as humanely as possible.
    1 person likes this.
  6. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2015

    I'm in the central valley of California. There's agriculture around here but no poultry farmers except for the cruel foster "farm" somewhere
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You've come to a wise decision. Eat most of the cockerels, sell a bunch of pullets as point of lay and wait until the homestead is built before hatching out new chicks. Once you have a place for them it's easy to hatch as many birds as you want and have room for.

    Chickens are not expectant mothers with every egg. They can go broody and that's their expectant motherhood. Of the breeds you listed non excepting the Silkie cockerel are typically broody birds.

    I'd keep one or two red cockerels or barred. The Silkie will have black skin just so your aware when you butcher it. For utility you really don't want to use the Silkie- poor layers, often broody and not very meaty. With the barred you end up with all offspring having barring though different feather colors.
  8. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2015

    They "free range" in my backyard although it's about a 1/4 or 1/5 of an acre. Initially for this last group of 35ish birds,I made a covered run measuring 5 by 12 feet attached to a non moving chicken tractor I made myself. Now, they are all one flock of around 50 birds of varying ages, except the two mature roosters who I try to keep in the run (they don't fight). The cockerals, hens, and pullets are overrunning the yard and obviously are stressed. Even though it's winter now in California, and hens usually take a break, these hens just started laying 2 months ago and have not molted or anything. The sun rises early but also sets early. The pullets should have gained weight by now seeing they are nearly 3 months old, but they honestly look no more than a month and a half: (

    My dad believes the chickens should be eating the scratch because it has oil in the grain but I am telling him scratch is a treat only, and has little nutritional value esp. for growing chickens and laying hens
  9. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2015

    I appreciate you understanding. I love my chickens: we have 2 Easter egger hens, 5 black australorps, a light Brahma hen, 1 RIR hen, 2 Dom hens, 1 skittish Orpington hen, 1 red star/ranger/something! hen, 1 black silkie hen (she lays good but takes breaks lol), 10 RIR cockerals, 1 black silkie rooster, 1 barred rock roo ("handsome" but evil), a huge assortment of Dom, ee, and Delaware pullets...

    I am just not having it anymore trying to find food/scraps in the name of eggs (or future expectations of them), meat, and breeding stock when we don't even have a farm yet! I love them for all they are, my dad just sees animals and treats them as such... Forgetting that happy chickens are more productive.
  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chicken Obsessed

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    To "save" on feed cost, read the threads on FF (ferment feeding)....It does cut the cost of feed, makes a different with the poop & smell, chickens love it & it's good for them.

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